Best Dissertation Recipients


  • Arts & Humanities
    Emily Bruce, History
    Advisor: Mary Jo Maynes
    Dissertation: Reading Agency: The Making of Modern German Childhoods in the Age of Revolutions

  • Biological & Life Sciences
    Jonathan Rawson, Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology & Genetics
    Advisor: Louis Mansky
    Dissertation: Studies on the Determinants of HIV Mutagenesis and Strategies for its Enhancement

  • Physical Sciences & Engineering
    Huahua Wang, Computer Science
    Advisor: Arindam Banerjee
    Dissertation: Large Scale Optimization for Machine Learning

  • Social Sciences & Education
    Matthew Luttig, Political Science
    Advisor: Howard Lavine
    Dissertation: The Rise of Partisan Rigidity: The Nature and Origins of Partisan Extremism in American Politics


  • Arts & Humanities
    Danielle Kuntz, Musicology
    Advisor: Kelley Harness
    Dissertation: Appropriate Musics for that Time: Oratorio in the Exchange of Power at the Portuguese Court (1707-1807)

  • Biological & Life Sciences
    Jason Schenkel, Microbiology, Immunology & Cancer Biology
    Advisor: David Masopust
    Dissertation: The Distribution and Function of Resident Memory CD8 T Cells

  • Physical Sciences & Engineering
    Anthony Braun, Biomedical Engineering

    Advisor: Jonathan Sachs
    Dissertation: Understanding the Membrane Biophysics of alpha-Synuclein and Its Role in Membrane Curvature Induction and Structural Remodeling

  • Social Sciences & Education
    Hollie Brehm, Sociology
    Advisors: Elizabeth Boyle and Joachim Savelsberg
    Dissertation: Conditions and Courses of Genocide


  • Arts & Humanities
    Sean Nye, Comparative Studies in Discourse & Society
    Advisor: Richard Leppert
    Dissertation: Teutonic Time-Slip: Travels in Electronic Music, Technology, and German Identity, 1968-2009

  • Biological & Life Sciences 
    Nancy Michael, Neuroscience
    Advisor: Robert Meisel
    Dissertation: Structural Plasticity of the Mesolimbic System Associated with Female Sexual Reward

  • Physical Sciences & Engineering
    James Faghmous, Computer Science
    Advisor: Vipin Kumar
    Dissertation: Climate Change and Variability: A Spatio-Temporal Data Mining Perspective

  • Social Sciences & Education
    Camelia Hostinar, Child Psychology
    Advisor: Megan Gunnar
    Dissertation: Impacts of Social Support and Early Life Stress on Stress Reactivity in Children and Adolescents


  • Arts & Humanities
    Ryan Cartwright, American Studies

    Advisors:  Roderick Ferguson, Regina Kunzel, and Kevin Murphy
    Dissertation: Peculiar Places: A Queer History of Rural Nonconformity

  • Biological & Life Sciences 
    Judd Hultquist, Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology & Genetics
    Advisor: Reuben Harris
    Dissertation: HIV-1Vif Requires CBFbeta to Degrade the APOBEC3 Restriction Factors and Facilitate Viral Replication

  • Physical Sciences & Engineering
    Gang Fang, Computer Science
    Advisor: Vipin Kumar
    Dissertation: Discovering Combinatorial Disease Biomarkers

  • Social Sciences & Education
    Zhicheng Lin, Psychology
    Advisor: Sheng He
    Dissertation: Emergence of Human Cognition from Spatial and Temporal Structures


  • Arts & Humanities
    Caley D. Horan, History
    Advisors: Regents Professor Elaine Tyler May and Professor Lary May
    Dissertation: Actuarial Age: Insurance and the Emergence of Neoliberalism in the Postwar United States

  • Biological & Medical Sciences 
    Sagar S. Agarwal, Pharmaceutics
    Advisor: Professor William Elmquist
    Dissertation: Improving Delivery of Molecularly Targeted Agents to Glioma

  • Physical Sciences & Engineering
    Eduardo Reategui, Mechanical Engineering
    Advisor: Professor Alptekin Aksan
    Dissertation: Encapsulation of Proteins and Cells in Silica Nanoporous Materials

  • Social & Behavioral Sciences & Education
    Ellery Frahm, Archaeology
    Advisor: Professor Gilbert Tostevin
    Dissertation: The Bronze-Age Obsidian Industry at Tell Mozan (Ancient Urkesh), Syria


  • Arts & Humanities
    Daniel W. LaChance, American Studies
    Advisor: Regents Professor Elaine Tyler May
    Dissertation: Condemned To Be Free:  The Cultural Life of Capital Punishment in the U.S., 1945 – Present

  • Biological & Medical Sciences 
    Paul F. Gugger, Ecology, Evolution & Behavior
    Advisor: Professor Jeannine Cavender-Bares
    Dissertation: Phylogeography of Douglas-fir: Testing Hypotheses from the Fossil Record

  • Physical Sciences & Engineering
    Sangwoo Lee, Chemical Engineering
    Advisor: Regents Professor Frank Bates
    Dissertation: Structure and Dynamics of Block Copolymer Based Soft Materials

  • Social & Behavioral Sciences & Education
    MiYoung Kwon, Psychology
    Advisor: Distinguished McKnight University Professor Gordon Legge
    Dissertation: Spatial-frequency Bandwidth Requirements for Pattern Recognition


  • Arts & Humanities
    Elizabeth M. Weixel, English
    Advisor: Distinguished McKnight University Professor John Watkins
    Dissertation: The Forest and Social Change in Early Modern English Literature, 1580-1700

  • Biological & Life Sciences
    Steve Davidson, Neuroscience
    Advisor: Professor Glenn J. Giesler, Jr.
    Dissertation: The Formation and Functions of the Spinothalamic Tract in Rodent and Primate [abbreviated]

  • Physical Sciences & Engineering
    Zhongming Liu, Biomedical Engineering
    Advisor: Distinguished McKnight University Professor Bin He
    Dissertation: Multimodal Neuroimaging Integrating Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Electroencephalography

  • Social & Behavioral Sciences & Education
    Michael Vuolo, Sociology
    Advisor: Distinguished McKnight University Professor Christopher Uggen
    Dissertation: Legal Context and Youth Drug Use: A Multilevel Analysis of the European Union


  • Arts & Humanities
    Lisa M. Blee, History
    Co-advisors: Professors Kevin Murphy & Jeani O’Brien
    Dissertation: Framing Chief Leschi:  Narratives and the Politics of Historical Justice in the South Puget Sound

  • Biological & Life Sciences
    Fen Liu, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics
    Advisor: Professor Kylie J. Walters
    Dissertation: Misfolded Cytosolic Proteins are Trafficked Through the Endoplasmic Reticulum for Degradation

  • Physical Sciences & Engineering
    Melissa K. Gardner, Biomedical Engineering

    Advisor: Professor David J. Odde
    Dissertation: Modeling and Analysis of Microtubule-Mediated Chromosome Transport During Mitosis

  • Social & Behavioral Sciences & Education
    Stephan Dilchert, Psychology
    Advisor: Professor Deniz S. Ones
    Dissertation: Measurement and Prediction of Creativity at Work


  • Arts & Humanities
    Nicole Phelps, History
    Co-advisors: Professors David Good and Barbara Welke
    Dissertation: Sovereignty, Citizenship, and the New Liberal Order: US-Habsburg Relations & the Transformation of International Politics, 1880-1924

  • Biological & Life Sciences
    Cristina Pereira Marques, Comparative & Molecular Biosciences
    Advisor:  Professor James R. Lokensgard
    Dissertation: Microglia-mediated Immune Responses During the Development of Herpes Encephalitis

  • Physical Sciences & Engineering
    Liping Liu, Aerospace Engineering

    Co-advisors: Professors Richard James and Perry Leo
    Dissertation:  Multiscale Analysis and Modeling of Magnetostrictive Composites

  • Social & Behavioral Sciences & Education
    Angela Bos, Political Science
    Advisor:  Regents Professor John Sullivan
    Dissertation: Stereotypes at the Gate? Gender Stereotypes and Candidate Nominations


  • Arts & Humanities
    Scott M. Laderman, American Studies
    Advisors: Professors Patricia Albers and Elaine May
    Dissertation: Witnessing the Past: History, Tourism, and Memory in Vietnam 1930-2002

  • Biological & Life Sciences
    Laura Angélica Díaz-Martínez, Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology & Genetics
    Advisor: Professor Duncan J. Clarke
    Dissertation: The Centromere Linkage Pathway (CLiP): towards a new model for sister centromere cohesion

  • Physical Sciences & Engineering
    Nathan E. Schultz, Chemistry
    Advisor: Regents Professor Donald G. Truhlar
    Dissertation: Computational Nanoscience

  • Social & Behavioral Sciences & Education
    Pamela Kay Bjorklund, Nursing
    Advisor: Professor Joan Liaschenko
    Dissertation: Taking Responsibility: Toward an Understanding of Morality in Practice


  • Arts & Humanities
    John Troyer, Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society
    Advisor: Professor John Archer
    Dissertation: Technologies of the Human Corpse

  • Biological & Life Sciences
    Jess Haines, Epidemiology
    Advisor: Professor Dianne Neumark-Sztainer
    Dissertation: V.I.K. (Very Important Kids):  A pilot program designed to impact Weight-related teasing, dieting, internalization of media messages, and body satisfaction among children

  • Physical Sciences & Engineering
    Jing Wang, Aerospace Engineering
    Advisor: Professor D.D. Joseph
    Dissertation: Topics in Multiphase Flow

  • Social & Behavioral Sciences & Education
    Katja M. Guenther, Sociology
    Advisor: Professor Robin Stryker
    Dissertation: The New Trümmerfrauen: Rebuilding Women’s Welfare in Eastern Germany since German Reunification


  • Arts & Humanities
    Margot Canaday, History
    Advisors: Professor Barbara Welke and Regents Professor Sara Evans
    Dissertation: The Straight State: Sexuality and American Citizenship, 1900-1969

  • Biological & Life Sciences
    James Michael Russell, Ecology, Evolution, & Behavior
    Advisor: Professor Thomas Johnson
    Dissertation: The Holocene Paleolimnology and Paleoclimatology of Lake Edward, Uganda-Congo

  • Physical Sciences & Engineering
    Liuqing Yang, Electrical Engineering
    Advisor Professor Georgios B. Giannakis
    Dissertation: Ultra-Wideband Communications: From Concept to Reality

  • Social & Behavioral Sciences & Education
    Joel D. Wainwright, Geography
    Advisors: Professor Bruce Braun and Professor Abdi Samatar
    Dissertation: Decolonizing Development: Colonialism, Mayanism and Agriculture in Belize


  • Arts & Humanities
    Jennifer Mary Guglielmo, History
    Advisor:  Professor David Roediger
    Dissertation: Negotiating Gender, Race, and Coalition: Italian Women and Working Class Politics in New York City, 1880-1945

  • Biological and Medical Sciences
    Jason Paul Harmon, Entomology
    Advisor:  Professor David Andow
    Dissertation: Indirect Interactions among a Generalist Predator and its Multiple Foods

  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
    Sherri Weers Hunt, Chemistry
    Advisor: Professor Kenneth Leopold
    Dissertation: Structural Studies of Partially Bonded and Hydrogen Bonded Molecules

  • Social & Behavioral Sciences & Education
    Michele E. Tertilt, Economics
    Advisor: Professor Larry E. Jones
    Dissertation: Essays on Social Institutions


  • Arts & Humanities
    Caitlin Downey Verfenstein, Classical and Near Eastern Studies
    Advisor: Professor Frederick A. Cooper
    Dissertation: The Architecture of the Greek Federal Leagues: 4th through 2nd Centuries B.C.

  • Biological and Medical Sciences
    Barbara May, Molecular Veterinary Biosciences
    Advisor: Professor Vivek Kapur
    Dissertation: Comprehensive Genetic Analysis of an Avian Isolate of Pasteurella multocida

  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
    Naomi M. McClure-Griffiths, Astrophysics
    Advisor: Professor John Dickey
    Dissertation: The HI Southern Galactic Plane Survey

  • Social & Behavioral Sciences & Education
    Daniel Stevens, Political Science
    Advisor: Regents’ Professor John Sullivan
    Dissertation: The Psychological Impact of Negative Campaigns on the Electorate


  • Arts and Humanities
    Sarah-Grace Heller, French
    Advisor: Professor Susan Noakes
    Dissertation: Robing Romance: Fashion and Literature in 13th Century France and Occitania

  • Biological & Medical Sciences
    Kevin C. Engel, Neuroscience
    Advisor: Professor John Soechting
    Dissertation: Oculomotor and Manual Tracking of Visual Targets

  • Physical Sciences & Engineering
    Kui Chen, Chemistry
    Advisor: Professor Lawrence Que
    Dissertation: Biometric Hydrocarbon Oxidations by Nonheme Iron Catalysts with Hydrogen Peroxide

  • Social & Behavioral Sciences & Education
    Tara Williams Fortune, Education
    Advisor: Professor Diane Tedick
    Dissertation: Understanding Immersion Students' Oral Language Use as a Mediator of Social Interaction in the Classroom